I just put my hand on the Angels' hot stove and I didn't get burned. This is truly the worst point of the off-season where few teams are doing much of note yet there is still so much to be done. Jerry Dipoto has a history of being very active early in the offseason, but thus far nothing. Last season, he basically got started a week before the Winter Meetings and was done with his winter shopping by the end of those meetings save for the Hamilton debacle. We are still a few weeks away from the Winter Meetings, so hopefully things get moving soon because I keep checking the well for content to write about and it keeps coming up dry. Why else do you think I am doing one of these Monkeying Around pieces?
One post that I am tempted to write but just can't talk myself into is the Angels making a run a Robinson Cano. The premise of the piece is that the Angels are screwed financially anyway, so why not just triple down on the bad contracts? I mean, third time is a charm, right? Besides, then the Angels can trade Howie Kendrick for pitching without damaging the offense. Eventually logic sets in and I realize that another nine-figure signing would make a Trout extension virtually impossible and put the team into a hole that they might never recover from. What's that? They are already there? Oh, I thought we all agreed to pretend that wasn't true. My bad.
Even though things are boring right now, you can go right on ahead and keep your yapper shut whenever some other team makes a move. In case you haven't noticed, most of the moves happening right now are being mocked as overpays. This is usually the case with moves this early in the winter and the last few winters, it has been the Angels doing the overpaying. We can't have it both ways. Also, the Angels can't sign everyone. So they didn't get Tim Hudson. Big deal. Maybe he could be helpful, but it is only a problem depending on what the Angels actually do to fix their rotation. It is like the Blanton signing last year. Not only was it an early overpay, but they could have passed on that move to make a cheaper signing of a better pitcher.
When it comes to waiting for moves, expect to do a lot of it. Notice that most of those early moves the Angels made last winter were signings. Signings are easy to pull off because there are fewer moving parts. But the Angels anticipate making most of their roster changes via trade and those are inherently more complicated and take longer to finalize. Complicating matters further is that in many cases, the Angels will have to wait for dominoes on the free agent market to fall before a market develops for the players they are trying to trade. For example, Nelson Cruz and maybe Kendrys Morales will have to sign before the Mark Trumbo market really heats up or Ellsbury will have to sign before interest really gets serious in Peter Bourjos. So, yeah, I wouldn't go holding my breath waiting for the Angels to make move.
One development this year that seems pretty real is that Dipoto (or really Moreno) has learned his lesson on first round picks. They have only been linked to one player that would cost them their draft pick. That would be Brian McCann and their reported interest in him was questionable at best and has not been mentioned in weeks. It helps that they have no money to be able to afford those kind of players, but it is still progress.
While Scioscia and Dipoto continue to play nice in the media, it seems that Dipoto is winning the power struggle. Just by looking at the coaching hires, there appears to be more Dipoto fingerprints than Scioscia marinara stains. Baylor is an old school guy, but a guy who Jerry had a history with. Rico Brogna, while not a full-time coaching staff member, is a former Dipoto teammate and co-worker with the Diamondbacks. Rick Eckstein is obviously David's brother, but it doesn't seem like he has any real connection to Scioscia. DiSarcina straddles the line as he worked for the organization before Dipoto was hired and one year after he was hired. Either way, there isn't much apparent Scioscia nepotism involved. I think we will truly see who has more juice once the personnel moves start happening, but right now Dipoto looks like the top dog.
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